There are things you can do to reduce your chances of getting COVID-19. These steps are a good idea for everyone, but especially for people age 65 years or older or who have other health problems:
●Wash your hands with soap and water often. This is especially important after being in public and touching other people or surfaces. Make sure to rub your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds, cleaning your wrists, fingernails, and in between your fingers. Then rinse your hands and dry them with a paper towel you can throw away.
If you are not near a sink, you can use a hand gel to clean your hands. The gels with at least 60 percent alcohol work the best. But it is better to wash with soap and water if you can.
●Avoid touching your face with your hands, especially your mouth, nose, or eyes.
●Try to stay away from people who have any symptoms of the infection.
●Avoid crowds if possible. If you live in an area where there have been cases of COVID-19, try to stay home as much as you can.
●Experts do not recommend wearing a face mask if you are not sick, unless you are caring for someone who has (or might have) COVID-19.
If someone in your home has COVID-19, there are additional things you can do to protect yourself:
●Keep the sick person away from others – The sick person should stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom if possible.
●Use face masks – The sick person should wear a face mask when they are in the same room as other people. If you are caring for the sick person, you can also protect yourself by wearing a face mask when you are in the room. This is especially important if the sick person cannot wear a mask.
●Be extra careful around body fluids – If you will be in contact with the sick person's blood, mucus, or other body fluids, wear a disposable face mask, gown, and gloves. If any body fluids touch your skin, wash your hands with soap right away.
●Clean often – It's especially important to clean things that are touched a lot. This includes counters, bedside tables, doorknobs, computers, phones, and bathroom surfaces. Some cleaning products work well to kill bacteria, but not viruses, so it's important to check labels. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a list of products here: www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2020-03/documents/sars-cov-2-list_03-03-2020.pdf. See earlier blog for info on Thymol products.
●Wash hands – Wash your hands with soap and water often (see above).